What is HAU4?

Welcome to HAU4, the digital stage of HAU Hebbel am Ufer!

At the start of the 2020 / 2021 season, we announced a fourth, digital stage alongside HAU1, HAU2 and HAU3. For HAU4, HAU Hebbel am Ufer produces and presents works specifically developed as online or hybrid projects.

With HAU4, we are creating a research platform where performing arts and digitality meet. In view of the digital transformation of society, we are testing ways of thinking and acting together with artists in order to forge new connections between the analogue and digital worlds. HAU4 is a site of encounter, research and exchange.

In addition to current projects, HAU4 also features a selection works that remain in our archive, the HAUthek, after their premiere. The playbill shows all upcoming and past HAU4 events in calendar format. If productions are not running directly at HAU4, we link to external platforms. For selected formats, we also provide technical equipment in the theatre for the audience.

What unites HAU4 projects is an approach that is both positive and critical towards digital technology. We present progressive communities in the digital realm, where, actors hack distances, surfaces, bodies and binaries, analysing, visualising and deconstructing power structures and ensuring that happiness hormones are released even when connection is virtual.

Presented works subvert the offerings of tech corporations and social media platforms or show alternative visions, enabling non-commercial forms of narration, interaction and participation as well as diverse communities. Since capitalist and patriarchal structures of the analogue world are perpetuated in virtual spaces, the central question is how to succeed in developing digital tools in such a way that they do not reproduce forms of oppression such as racism, sexism and ableism.

As an institution, and also as a society and as individuals, we are learning the digital alphabet at the moment of application, which will have changed again by tomorrow. We find ourselves among a multitude of data streams and try not to lose the balance between fluid immersion and critical distance.

The HAU considers itself a learning institution. To use the words of the artist duo NewfrontEars, it's on us to allow for an awkwardness that can arise when human and non-human intelligences first encounter one another, and to see transmission errors as opportunities to look behind the surface of technology. This is why HAU4 has evolved over the past several months and will continue to do so in the future.

We look forward to new encounters and ongoing dialogue with experienced actors in the digital space who want to join us in shaping a digitalisation that offers strategies for the society of the future.

9 December 2021

On the occasion of the relaunch of the digital stage HAU4, these texts have been written:

“The Fifth Wall” by Hito Steyerl
“New Noises for New Feelings” by NewfrontEars